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8 of the Best Vacation Rentals for Design Lovers

From a tree house in the heart of Atlanta to a repurposed winery in Sicily, check into one of these unique vacation homes around the world.

Das schwimmende Haus, Geierswalde, Germany

Das schwimmende Haus, Geierswalde, Germany

On Geierswalde Lake, part of eastern Germany’s Lusatian Lake district, floats this tiny home lover’s dream dwelling. The 1,040-square-foot property impresses with its sleek metal and glass architecture (including a curved roof that resembles a sail) and glossy white interior dotted with black accents. The floating house has one bedroom, making it ideal for a couples getaway. Prepare dinner in the luxe kitchen, complete with Miele appliances; then watch the sunset from the wraparound patio or rooftop deck.

Airbnb

The Glasshouse, Whangarei, New Zealand

The Glasshouse, Whangarei, New Zealand

This glass, steel and timber structure is nestled among ancient pohutukawa trees on the tip of a peninsula in northern New Zealand. Integrating multiple skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, The Glasshouse brings visitors close to nature without sacrificing comfort. Take in the Pacific seascape from the comfort of a hammock or head down the path for a dip in a private cove. For a special treat, enjoy a meal cooked by a private chef, followed by stargazing beside the outdoor fireplace.

Airbnb

Secluded Intown Treehouse, Atlanta

Photo: Alex Martinez

Secluded Intown Treehouse, Atlanta

Unleash your inner child at this tree house nestled in the woods, north of downtown Atlanta. A series of suspension bridges adorned in fairy lights connects a living room, bedroom and open deck. Each room is chock full of vintage furniture and knick-knacks, including distressed chests, framed butterflies and old vases. Wake up to the sound of birds chirping after sleeping in ultracomfortable Parachute linens; then spend the day admiring local wildlife on the deck or take a snooze in the hammock.

Airbnb

Domus Civita, Civita, Italy

Domus Civita, Civita, Italy

Built inside a restored 14th-century palazzo in the hilltop town of Civita di Bagnoregio, the villa features three suites (complete with modern updates), a cave pool and an alfresco dining area. Take Italian cooking lessons hosted by Michelin-starred chefs Iside and Romano from La Parolina (when available), and elevate your dining experience with a bottle of wine, chosen from a selection of over 300 labels found in the palazzo’s 2,000-year-old water cistern-turned-wine cellar.

Domus Civita

Marmotte Mountain Eco Lodge, Chamonix, France

Photo: Georgie Clarke Photography

Marmotte Mountain Eco Lodge, Chamonix, France

This ecolodge in the Chamonix ski region takes Alpine living to new heights through its combination of chalet architecture – think wide gabled roofs and rich wooden facades – and modern, streamlined interior. The outdoor hot tub and the tubular sauna offer postcard views of the white-capped peak of Mont Blanc.

VRBO

Old Winery, Sicily

Photo: Alfio Garozzo

Old Winery, Sicily

The old wine press on the ground floor of this charming property pays homage to its former life as a winery. The courtyard’s tranquil lounge area offsets the interior’s industrial elements, from a copper chimney and brick archways to concrete walls in the bathrooms. Step outside for a relaxing afternoon under the shade of a lemon tree.

Rent by Owner

The Plant at Kyle, Austin, Texas

Photo: Chris Archer (www.archershot.com)

The Plant at Kyle, Austin, Texas

Located in the Texas countryside, the Plant was designed by architects David Lake and Ted Flato using limestone and steel recycled from an old cement plant. With three bedrooms that can accommodate up to 10 people, the world’s largest screened-in porch and a covered outdoor pool, the house provides a perfect setting for everything from a family vacation to a wedding reception. The interior is decorated in simple and stylish furniture and includes such architectural features as exposed steel beams, floor-to-ceiling windows, industrial lighting and rustic brick floors. The property is also celebrity approved; Solange Knowles filmed the music video for “Cranes in the Sky” here.

The Plant at Kyle

Villa Alexander Mykonos, Greece

Villa Alexander Mykonos, Greece

Designed in the traditional Cycladic architectural style of the Greek islands, Villa Alexander Mykonos boasts rounded white walls, arches and simple decor with pops of blue, but the real draw here is the view. Sip your morning coffee as you look out onto the Aegean Sea from the second-floor balcony; then bask in the sun by the cliffside pool.

VRBO

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